Minnesota girl, 8, dies as dad and stepmom tie her up with belt in sleeping bag as punishment for bedwetting
The parents, Brett Jason Hallow, 30, and Sarah Kay Hallow, 28, have been charged with second-degree and first-degree manslaughter
SHERBURNE COUNTY, MINNESOTA: A father and stepmother of a young girl, 8, have been charged in connection to her death which happened last week. The "extremely frail and thin child", Autumn Hallow, was found not breathing inside a bathtub. Brett Jason Hallow, 30, and Sarah Kay Hallow, 28, have been charged with second-degree and first-degree manslaughter, KSTP News reveals. The police revealed that the child was found not breathing after a call was made for a medical emergency. The police found Autumn looking very frail with her skin dry and hair only a little bit wet which led them to believe that she had been dead for a while. The Sherburne County Sheriff's Office said that the Elk River officials were called to an apartment on 172nd Avenue NW on Thursday, August 13, for a medical emergency. The child was unable to be revived and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The following night, the child's father and stepmother were arrested over her death. As per the criminal complaint, Sarah had told the authorities that Autumn had said that she was going to go for a shower and when she went to check on the child around 40 minutes later, Autumn was lying face down in the water, The Sun reveals. It is reported that Autumn's biological mother was denied visits to her daughter by the Hallows because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Autumn's brother, 6, told the police that Brett and Sarah had used a brown belt to tie up Autumn and put her in a sleeping bag when she would misbehave or wet herself. He also said that on the morning that Autumn died, he had heard a loud bang that came from the bathroom when both his parents were inside with his sister. The criminal complaint also reveals that Sarah's 10-year-old daughter had seen blood in the tub and that Autumn was not breathing.
Both Brett and Sarah have denied ever tying the child the up and putting her in a sleeping bag. Sarah told the cops that she had no idea where Autumn's injuries came from and had no idea why she was losing hair. The child's death was ruled as a homicide with the cause of death said to be asphyxia injuries and blunt force trauma. A friend of Autumn's biological mother started a GoFundMe page to raise some money for funeral expenses. The page states, "A parent's worst nightmare has happened to my very good friend, Kelsey." "She lost her 8-year-old baby girl, tragically. As everyone knows, funerals are very expensive & very stressful. The last thing I want her to be worrying about is financial issues through any of this. Anything is appreciated," the page continued.
As reported by KSTP, a neighbor in the apartment, Nicole Robinson, said, "It’s really sad, especially when it’s something so close to home. My heart’s breaking for their mom and their family. Horrible." A frequent visitor who goes to the apartment below the Hallows, Sabrina McWilliam, said, "My heart breaks for the mother and the family." "I can’t imagine what they’re going through. I'm not shocked. Probably what makes me sick to my stomach is I'm not surprised a child died up there. I don't know about other neighbors, but I know personally, being underneath them, I've heard the screaming. I've sat outside and heard the cussing and screaming at these kids," McWilliam said. She shared that she and others have called 911 many times as well as the apartment management. When officers arrived, the shouting would stop.